Thursday, June 09, 2011
For all those who have criticized my use of the words "catacorner" and "catty-corner" instead of "kitty-corner":
For all those who have criticized my use of the words catacorner and catty-corner instead of kitty-corner: The etymology of kitty-corner is that it originally came into American English as catercorner. The first part of the word was derived from quatre, Middle French for four. Everyday users of the term thought they detected analogy to the domestic feline; hence, cater- soon became catty- and eventually kitty-. In all cases of judgement, catercorner is considered the most proper. All forms are considered Americanisms and contemporary use is most common to the American Midwest. Some sources do speculate that kitty-corner is more common in Western and Northern portions of the Midwest whileas catty-corner is more common to the Eastern and Southern Midwest, which would fit with my criticism coming from Minnesota and Canada whileas I grew up in Chicago.